What is a Divorce based on Constructive Desertion?

What do you do if you want to separate from your spouse and he or she won’t leave the house?

A divorce filed on the fault ground of constructive desertion may be the answer. A spouse in Virginia can file on fault grounds immediately, and not have a waiting period of separation before being able to file for divorce. Constructive desertion is such a ground when one spouse won’t physically leave the home, but has made life so intolerable through his or her actions for the innocent spouse that he or she has deserted the marriage already. The bad actions of the guilty spouse may also give the innocent spouse justification to leave the home to “escape”, while offering protection against claims of desertion. Once the complaint is filed with the courts, the petitioning spouse can ask for pendente lite relief, which can include sole and exclusive use and possession of the marital residence during the pendency of the suit for divorce, and potentially requiring the other spouse to pay for the mortgage and other bills associated with the  marital residence.

If you have questions regarding filing divorce, please contact the lawyers at Winslow & McCurry, PLLC at 804-423-1382 or email us at info@wmmlegal.com.